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Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

It's an old joke. It is funny because it is so outrageous to even imagine someone displaying such total lack of sensitivity that he could ask such a question. Obviously no one is that insensitive and clueless. Ask a woman who had seen not only her husband, but an icon... a symbol of unity and humanity gunned down in cold blood about other events that evening?? Especially since she probably feels that if they just hadn't gone to the play that night. If they had just decided to do something less public that evening, her husband might be alive today. And this boor and worse is asking her to ignore the most devastating moment of her life and talk about mundane things?!? So its funny, because no one is actually that insensitive.

Except I just realized this afternoon that I am that insensitive. I asked another Jew today, "Other than another Tisha b'Av in galus, how are things going?" I thought is was cute. Till the words left my mouth; then I was horrified. I really just trivialized the most devastating event in Jewish (actually world) history to "cute"? I wouldn't talk about the holocaust that way, I wouldn't take about the Crusades that way, I wouldn't talk about the Spanish Inquisition that way. Yet all of those events pale in significance to, and in fact are all a direct result of, our behaviors that led up to and culminated in the destruction of our precious Bais haMikdash -- our Holy Temple. But I trivialized it to "cute". I am that boor and worse.

I am publicizing my lack of sensitivity to my friends and family so that every time I see any one of you, I'll feel at least a little shame and embarrassment. It is really not good enough to keep saying, "I know I should be better." I really have to be better. Actually, that's not enough either -- I need stop making excuses, stop hiding hiding taking small steps, and just start being good; or at least stop being bad. Or at the very least stop trivializing horrific things by saying "its only a little lashon hara", "its only bitul Torah", "its only d'rabbanan", etc. There are no little sins. At least I hope to accomplish that this time. HaShem ya'azor -- G-d Help me.

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